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Opinion

Takeaway: Ready For The Next Chapter

I think everyone’s concept of time has been tested so far this year, and it’s challenged us in many ways.

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Amy Antenora has served as editor of aftermarketNews since 2002 and has worked in the field of journalism for two decades. A graduate of Kent State University, Amy also earned her AAP designation from Northwood University's University of the Aftermarket in 2009.

Time is a funny thing, isn’t it? Particularly this year. It’s hard to believe we are past the halfway point in 2020.

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I think everyone’s concept of time has been tested so far this year, and it’s challenged us in many ways. It seems for the past several months we’ve all had a crash course in Zen Buddhism, being forced to learn how to accept simply living in the now because everything around us has been changing so quickly.

For a majority of this year, many of us have felt stuck in a holding pattern or waiting in limbo wondering what would come next, whether it’s been regarding questions of when the economy would reopen or when we could go back to work. Within the aftermarket, however, it appears as though the clouds are starting to part.

If you take a look at any one of the articles in this month’s issue, you’ll find sparks of optimism all around. While the year so far has been a turbulent one, what goes down must come up again, and it looks as though the automotive aftermarket is thankfully once again on an upward trajectory, according to AASA President Paul McCarthy.

As you can read in the quarterly update from AASA on page 7, while this year has been a “rollercoaster,” McCarthy said we’re seeing positive signs of recovery, such as the “steady and very impressive uptake” in driving throughout the summer.

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As we now adapt to this new ability to be a little more agile and nimble in our daily business lives, many of us have begun to look ahead once again. Long-term plans are starting to take shape. As Sue Godschalk, president of Federated Auto Parts, noted in her opening remarks from The Group’s first virtual member conference, this agility is one of the aftermarket’s assets for this new normal.

“We’ve been forced to change, adapt and pivot – to use some of the new catchphrases – like never before. And, our meeting this week will be a great example of our ability to do just that. Our industry is truly essential to the overall success of our country’s economy and our basic quality of life,” she said.

For now, it seems we have one foot in the present and one foot in the future, perhaps still a little unsure of what comes next. However, we are fortunate to work in an industry that is capable and ready to make that climb. Onward and upward!

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